The Wright stuff

MARRIED life is clearly agreeing with Jermaine Wright.By his own admission the Town midfielder had not enjoyed the best of times over the two seasons following the initial high of the Premiership.

MARRIED life is clearly agreeing with Jermaine Wright.

By his own admission the Town midfielder (right) had not enjoyed the best of times over the two seasons following the initial high of the Premiership.

But this year the rejuvenated Wright has started to look back to the sort of form which made him Town's most improved player at the end of the 2000/2001 season.

Back then George Burley presented the award to the midfielder, chosen by him and the staff for his influential central role during that heady season.

Wright has every reason to be grateful to the now Derby County boss who bought him from Crewe for £500,000.

He said: “George gave me my chance here and was always pretty good to me. I could have gone to Nottingham Forest for more money but after meeting Burley and the chairman I wanted to come here.

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“He was always bubbly and was enthusiastic about the club and the facilities and I wanted to be part of what Ipswich was about.

“It was the right decision, I got my dream of playing in the Premiership and I have not regretted it at all.”

Wright took a lot of stick from fans and media alike last year but has quietly gone about making many of us eat our words with a series of top displays.

Blues boss Joe Royle has named him as the top performer for the past couple of game and he was the EADT man of the match at Preston.

If he has enjoyed proving people wrong he is not going to gloat.

He said: “My form dipped after that season and to be quite honest I was terrible at times. There were many reasons, I was not playing regularly, I had injuries or when I was playing it was bit parts and I never really had any continuity.

“It is no good getting upset about the criticism. You can either sulk or get on with it and I just got on with it.

“I worked hard to get my form back and getting back into the team.”

Wright was married in the summer and confesses to indulging during the honeymoon period and returning for pre-season training a little more overweight than was expected.

But as the excess pounds disappeared so the form came tumbling back with more than one factor the reason why.

Wright said: “Hard work, extra training with Simon Thadani. Willie (Donachie) has come up with some different ideas off the pitch as well which work for me with fitness and I have never felt fitter than I do now.

“Confidence is also a big thing, I scored early in the season, okay it was a fluky deflection against West Ham but it still helped.

“Then there is the encouragement from the Gaffer, Willie and Mogga (Tony Mowbray).

“Jim (Magilton) has been told to stamp his authority on games and we are all encouraged to express ourselves, go out and enjoy ourselves.

“With Bart (Chris Bart-Williams) in the team that has left me and Jim able to go forward and we are enjoying it and that has showed.

“I'm comfortable in that role but really it is not about formations it is about players.”

With Bart-Williams suspended Wright is likely to play deep in midfield just in front of the back four, unless he is drafted in as an emergency right back.

Either way he will be looking to help Town start another winning streak after the disappointment of last Saturday's 4-3 home defeat to Gillingham.

He said: “We have to go to Derby and bounce back, George being there gives us an extra incentive. All we are thinking about is three points for us.”

n Tickets for Ipswich Town's derby with Norwich City, at Portman Road on Sunday, December 21, go on sale to the club's silver club members on Monday.

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